Being personally acquainted with a number of Waldorf students, I can say that they come closer to realizing their own potential that practically anyone I know.
- Joseph Weizenbaum, former professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Books of Interest

The following books are some of our favorites, and may soon become yours, too!   They are recommended for parents and families who are interested in learning more about Waldorf education or bringing some new activities, songs and play into the home.  They are available for sale at many local booksellers and online retailers.  Please let us know if you discover any new titles that you would like to share with the Clover Hill community, and we will be sure to add them to our list.

Family Life

You are Your Child's First Teacher by Rahima Baldwin

Nowadays parents are bombarded by any number of approaches about how to be with their children. You Are Your Child's First Teacher introduces a new way of understanding the human being so that parents can be best equipped to serve as their own children's best teachers. Chapters include: Caring for the Newborn, Helping Your Toddler's Development, The Development of Fantasy and Creative Play, Nourishing Your Child's Imagination, Rhythm and Discipline in Home Life, Readiness for School, and more.

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge by Barbara J. Patterson, Pamela Bradley, and Jean Riordan

In a gentle, easy, and non-threatening way this book teaches the importance of creative play, the necessity of daily routine, and the merits of creative discipline.

The Incarnating Child by Joan Salter

The Incarnating Child addresses physical, soul and spiritual development, the formation of healthy personalities, nutritian, clothing, environment, toys and learning, immunisation and health, and the acquisition of skills and thinking ability. Joan Salter was a nurse and became highly respected for her work in maternal and child health care. She was the founder and director of the Gabriel Baby Centre in Melbourne, Australia; a clinic based on the principles of Rudolph Steiner.

Seven Times the Sun: Guiding Children Through Rhythms of the Day by Shea Darian

A one-of-a-kind book--full of ideas, reflections, and practical advice offering a fresh view of daily life in the home and family. Weaving songs, stories, family rituals, and verses throughout, mother and educator Shea Darian shows how to bring joy to such daily events as mealtimes, going to bed, chores, naps, and playtime.

Heaven on Earth: A Handbook for Parents of Young Children by Sharifa Oppenheimer

As we witness the shifting of old forms that once stood as the foundation of our daily lives, parents—who must prepare the next generation to meet this changing world—have more questions now than ever before. Although our culture and the nature of the family may be changing, the atmosphere in the home continues to create the foundation of a child’s life. In Heaven on Earth, parent and educator Sharifa Oppenheimer reveals how to make the home environment warm, lively, loving, and consistent with your highest ideals.

Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander

A total departure from previous writing about television, this book is the first ever to advocate that the medium is not reformable. Its problems are inherent in the technology itself and are so dangerous -- to personal health and sanity, to the environment, and to democratic processes -- that TV ought to be eliminated forever.

The Plug-In Drug: Television, Computers, and Family Life by Marie Winn

In The Plug-In Drug, Winn demonstrates "with devastating persuasiveness" (The Washington Post) that television has a negative impact on child development, school achievement, and family life. But rather than focusing on program improvement as a solution, Winn proposes that the problem lies within the seductive act of TV watching itself. Extensive TV watching alters children's relations with the real world, depriving them of far more valuable real life experiences, especially playing and reading. Ever sympathetic to parents' need for relief, Winn proposes ways to control this addictive medium and live with it successfully.

Who's Bringing Them Up? Television and Child Development by Martin Large

Updated with recent research, this book describes the effects of television viewing on children's play, senses, thought, imagination, social skills, learning and growth. Practical ways of giving up the "TV habit" are described, so that readers can build a more creative family.

Set Free Childhood: Parents' Survival Guide to Coping with Computers and TV by Martin Large and Kate Sheppard

Offering practical ways for parents to control TV and computer use with the under-7s, this book explains how the electronic media affect you and your child. It contains comprehensive research on the hazards, including effects on the brain, senses, imagination, play, social skills and movement. The book also offers analysis of media links with violence, anti-social behaviour, reading vs. TV, pester power, movement injuries, language acquisition and cognitive effects.

Parenting A Path through Childhood by Dottie Turner Coplen

Introduces an understanding of parenting by asking, what is a child, what is a parent, and why does a child need a parent. This book leaves dogma behind and brings the reader to the reality of daily living. Combining her experience as a mother and grandmother with her studies in psychology and social work, the author presents a warm and human way of understanding the nature and needs of children. Parents and professionals working with children will find this a helpful book for understanding children, developing an awareness of their individual differences and observing how behaviour is learned.

Education and Childhood

The Way of the Child by A.C. Harwood

This is a new edition of one of the most popular introductions to child development and Waldorf education. Chapters include "The Heart of Childhood," "Life Forces and Death Forces," "The Birth of the Ego," and "The Form of a School."

Teaching as a Lively Art by Marjorie Spock

The author, an experienced Waldorf teacher and eurythmist, radiates her enthusiasm and sense for beauty as she takes us through the various stages of development of the child. She shows us that "ripeness is all," that nothing can be taught to the child until it is ready to receive it or knowledge will sprout prematurely and wither early. This book will help us approach the child with sensitivity and insight.

Family Activities

The Children's Year by Stephanie Cooper, Cooper Frynes-Clinton and Marije Rowling

This guide helps children do what they want to do in their life and work. It offers ideas and skills to take more control of their life and give them the boost in self confidence to start making things happen. This is a workbook packed with ideas, exercises, examples that can be worked through on your own or with two or three others.

Festivals, Family and Food by Diana Carey and Judy Large

This family favourite is a unique, well loved source of stories, recipes, things to make, activities, poems and songs. Each festival has its own well illustrated chapter. There are alos sections on Birthdays, Rainy Days, Convalescence and a birthday calendar. The perfect present for a family, it explores the numerous festivals that children love to celebrate.

Toymaking with Children by Freya Jaffke

This book is a revised and expanded edition of the original book titled "Making Soft Toys" which was published in 1981. The author is a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher. This book discusses the importance of play as seen through a Waldorf education perspective and explains that natural playthings from nature and toys made from natural products are important.

Painting with Children by B.C. J. Lievegood

A vital factor in a child's development is the stimulation of active imagination and creativity. Here are ideas for encouraging self-expression through watercolour painting. Essentially practical, this book is based on Goethe's colour theory and shows that painting with children is more than just a form of self-expression. Muller encourages and attempts to understand children's fantasies through their artwork. This guide for parents and teachers to painting with watercolours covers preparation, colour-stories and poems, painting moods of nature and the seasons of the year.

Earthways: Simple Environmental Activities for Young Children by Carol Petrash

Now a new activity book designed for classroom use and for families has revived many old-fashioned nature activities and supplied an updated view on the importance of providing opportunities for children to interact with dirt and bugs and wool and plants real things as opposed to plastic toys.

Festivals Together by Sue Fitzjohn, Minda Weston and Judy Large

A resource guide for celebration, and for observing special days, according to traditions based on many cultures, this book brings together the experience, sharing and activities of individuals from a multi-faith community - Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh. It draws on backgrounds as diverse as North and West Africa, the Caribbean, China, India, Ireland, Japan, New England, the Philippines and more. Its unifying thread is our need for meaning, for continuity and for joy.

Books and Lectures by Rudolf Steiner

The Education of the Child

As early as 1884, while tutoring a boy with special needs, Steiner began a lifelong interest in applying spiritual knowledge to the practical aspects of life. Steiner originally published the essay at the core of this book in 1907. It represents his earliest ideas on education, in which he lays out the soul spiritual processes of human development, describing the need to understand how the being of a child develops through successive "births," beginning with the physical body's entry into earthly life, and culminating in the emergence of the I-being with adulthood.

Prayers for Parents and Children

A wonderful companion for parents looking for prayers to help their children on their journey through childhood. There are verses for every occasion for the mother to say for the incarnating soul preparing to be born; for the baby after birth; for children of all ages; for morning and evening; and table graces. The context for these prayers is provided by Rudolf Steiners lecture, which offers insight into the individual's relationship to the cosmos before, during, and after life on Earth. Includes the verses in original German.

The Four Temperaments

From personal spiritual insight, Rudolf Steiner renews and broadens the ancient teaching of the four temperaments. He explains how each person's mixture of temperaments is shaped, usually with one dominating. Steiner provides lively descriptions of the passive, comfort-seeking phlegmatic; the fickle, flitting sanguine; the pained, gloomy melancholic; and the fiery, assertive choleric. He also offers practical suggestions for teachers and parents in addressing the differing manifestations of the temperaments in children, as well as advice intended for adults' personal development.

Study of Man

Although these lectures were given to teachers as preparatory material, they are by no means concerned only with education. Study of Man is Steiner’s most succinct presentation of his human-centered spiritual psychology, and it is accessible to anyone genuinely interested in the questions of human existence. His approach is unique because it considers not only the influences that affect humanity from the past, but also future states of consciousness and being.

Practical Advice to Teachers

During an intensive two weeks, Rudolf Steiner gave three simultaneous educational courses to those who would be the first teachers of the original Waldorf school. One course provided the foundational ideas behind Waldorf education (The Foundations of Human Experience); another provided a forum for questions and lively discussions on specific issues in the classroom (Discussions with Teachers). In this course, Steiner takes the middle-path by integrating theory and practice.

Discussions with Teachers

For two weeks, prior to the opening of the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart, Rudolf Steiner intensively prepared the individuals he had chosen to become the first Waldorf teachers. This book contains discussions with those teachers following the sessions. The tone is spontaneous and relaxed. Steiner does not prescribe specific methods but introduces topics and situations, giving guidelines and allocating practical assignments that are taken up and discussed in the next session.

The Kingdom of Childhood

These seven intimate, aphoristic talks were presented to a small group on Steiner's final visit to England. Because they were given to "pioneers" dedicated to opening a new Waldorf school, these talks are often considered one of the best introductions to Waldorf education. Steiner shows the necessity for teachers to work on themselves first, in order to transform their own inherent gifts. He explains the need to use humor to keep their teaching lively and imaginative. Above all, he stresses the tremendous importance of doing everything in the knowledge that children are citizens of both the spiritual and the earthly worlds.

Education and Modern Spiritual Life

A great little introductory book that contains three of Steiner's most readable lectures. With this one volume you can learn what Steiner wanted his pedagogical approach to accomplish.